I’m an avid podcast listener and have been unable to stop myself from devouring pods related to the election. In many ways, though, podcasts are the perfect counterbalance to other media. They’re chiller than the hot-take industrial complex, or the garbage fires happening in your Facebook feed. They’re less anxiety-inducing than the late-night comedy harangues and the 24-hour cable-news surrogate-fest. And for whatever reason, the sound of humans telling stories about themselves and how they see the world tends to be enriching, even if their perspectives or experiences differ from mine.
So if you have some time this weekend that you want to spend doing chores around the house, or going on a long walk, or just lying in bed in your PJs with some instant oatmeal, headphones, and a sleep mask (was that too specific?), here are my recommendations for some fascinating hours of listening, closely or loosely related to the 2016 election. (If you have recommendations to add to this list, please email them our way! I’ll update this post with any new discoveries.)
For thoughtful interviews with fascinating thinkers
The Ezra Klein Show
Time required: ~75 minutes per episode, 40+ episodes
This podcast is my top recommendation on this list. Klein's ideological leanings aren’t a secret (hint: I’m fairly certain he’s voting for Hillary Clinton, who was a guest). But he and his team have done an incredible job of pulling together a demographically diverse cast of fascinating interviewees from all across the ideological spectrum. The best episodes of the show (and the best podcasts on this list, generally) depart from whatever’s leading the news that week and stay away from punditry. Instead, they delve into the lives and experiences of the guests, slowly unwinding each interviewee’s perspectives on our collective political circumstances and how those came about.